The Let's Play Archive

Mega Man Zero 2

by Gamwhiz1

Part 3: Video 2

You see, the joke is they’re snakes and I ate them for breakfast. I am both clever and topical.

Also, Saber level up! We can now perform a double slash.
This is our first weapon level up, and lets Zero do a one-two strike while standing still. Because of the way combat works in this game (it involves something called combo values, I’m not gonna get in-depth because it’s kinda boring), certain attacks bypass invincibility frames when performed in sequence. This is one of them; if we use this bad boy on a boss, they’ll take the full damage of both strikes, which at base stats is 4+4=8. Super-sexy.

Stage notes!

100 pt. requirements:
-Clear time: 4:00
-Enemies killed: 37

Hard mode actually alters something here, seeing as you can’t just combo slash the midboss to death before he does anything. Also, Hyleg can kill you in literally two hits of his claw. Hard mode is hard, guys!
(I didn’t actually know you could wall jump up the midboss’s platform until now. Learn something new every day.)

The forest of Dysis (west forest) is the first area we’ll be honoring with our presence. It’s not a forest as we know it, though; every bit of greenery is artificially made and spread, from the trees down to the grass. The rationale for this is that the crash of what remained of the Eurasia space colony in Mega Man X5 decimated the ecosystem, so humans turned to bio-mechanical replacements. Presumably they work as air purifiers or some other such useful and necessary function. Not sure what use explosive bees would be, though

Also, the forest is apparently situated next to a large body of water. Gaze into that serene orange abyss and watch your worries melt away. Incidentally the music for this stage is called “Sand triangle”, despite it having nothing to do with sand or triangles. Forest, beach or desert – Decide on one, IC!
This is one of four stages that you can choose to play right off the bat, but it’s the one that your cursor defaults to when selecting missions. There’s a reason for that; it’s really obviously designed with the chain rod in mind, to get new players acquainted with the new weapon’s functions and versatility. While I give Inti Creates credit for this, they didn’t pull it off without any kinks. The addition of Pantheon hammers (which highly resemble the sniper Joes of old, btw) help to teach players that they can pull enemies around, and the blocks common within the ruins of Dysis teach how to manipulate the environment, but as for the grappling mechanic, well…

This is what they give you. Do you know what that is? Because I sure as hell don’t.
See, with the blocks, you’re given something to practice on right off the bat, seeing as Cerveau’s lab has one convieniently placed right smack in the middle of it. But with this, it just looks like some kind of bizarre enemy chillin’ in the air. Not only that, but it’s way too narrow; for first-time players, successfully grappling this instead of falling to your death is no mean feat. Once you figure out that’s what you’re supposed to do, that is. To be fair, though, IC is still super smart, and gives you this:

A grapple target to practice on, before the actual challenge! How gracious.
There’s just one problem with it:

…yeah. See, you can extend and retract the chain by pressing down and up, but the game never tells you this. Furthermore, pretty much all stage traversal so far in the series has relied on the left-right buttons; the down button is barely, if ever, used. What this means is that the grapples over bottomless pits in this stage are super unintuitive and will more than likely result in many a cheap death for new players as they try in vain to get a *perfect* grapple that will manage to bridge the gap. Not fun at all.
Other than that though it’s pretty well designed. There’s a good few secrets (some of which we’ll have to come back for) as well as shortcuts for the keen-eyed player to use. The stage is probably the best place to farm e-crystals too, seeing as they regenerate each time you reenter the stage and there’s a bunch hidden both in the trees and in the secret area behind the midboss.

=Power form=

The power form is your reward for pulling 30 things with the chain rod within a single stage. Given that this stage is chainrodapalooza, it’s the ideal first form to obtain.


The power form’s on par with the Proto form when it comes to sheer destructive power, and comes without the grave setback of being made of wet cabbage. It’s slightly slower than your normal red-hued self, but in all honestly the speed decrease is not nearly as noticeable as you’d think; you have to really be looking for it to tell a difference. This would probably be the go-to form because of this, if it weren’t for one thing: this form steals combo slashes from you. Rather than doing our new one-two slash, we’re given a slow slash that arcs over our whole body and has a pretty substantial recovery time. While it has its uses, even with the damage boost it doesn’t do as much damage as a combo would and just doesn’t feel as smooth, so I tend to prefer basic Zero over this. That deep purple’s pretty snazzy though.

EX skills!

The first EX skill of the game warrants a new subsection. Unlike the last game, you can obtain certain skills from bosses, much like Megaman games of old. Unlike those, though, these are a prize given only to the best of the best: You need an A or S rank to get the skill, which means no lower than 86pts. This makes the barrier for entry nonsensically high, but it’s better than nothing. You can select whether to have them active or not in the EX skill sub menu.

=Laser Shot=

Our first EX skill is one we can’t actually use yet. Woe to us.
The laser shot replaces your level 3 charged buster shot when active, turning it from a wide energy blast into a narrow laser. This’d be all well and good if it weren’t for the fact that the buster has piercing damage anyway, so the big appeal of lasers is lost. It’s still capable of penetrating enemy defenses, like the rotating cacti in the intro stage or the pantheon hammer’s shield, but it doesn’t do enough damage to one-shot them so it’s often more convenient to take them out in an alternate fashion. If you’re a deadeye with the buster, it could be better than the default I suppose, but there’s really only one specific section in the game where I’d recommend switching to this; the size decrease is just too extreme. Also, you can only use it when you have no elemental chips active, so that’s another strike against it.



Returning from the X series, subtanks let you store unneeded energy (up to a certain point) for later use. Given the lack of heart tanks or other non-elf health upgrades, this provides a much-needed boost to Zero’s abysmal health capacity.
In the last game, you could only gain them by using one of four cyber-elves that required more than a thousand e-crystals to raise (for reference, after two full stages we now have 200), which made them extremely costly. Here, though, the game shows some leniency; while the cyber-elves are still present (only two this time), you’re able to obtain sub tanks in select hidden areas, much like how they worked in the X series. The two varieties, stage and elf, also have two different designs (the other one’s redder), so you can quickly differentiate the two. This is just another of the many ways this game improved upon the last; it’s really quite amazing.

Character bios!


This guy’s super odd. Apparently a guard of some sort in the ancient ruins, he looks extremely imposing but isn’t all that tough. The biggest danger in the fight is, obviously, the instant-death spikes that await you if you fall from your narrow platform, but you can mitigate the danger by latching onto his nose-platform and pulling it out with the chain rod – see what I meant by this being a tutorial?
His eye’s his main weak point, and it goes down to a measly four saber slashes, or two combos. If you want to play it safe you can always just stay on the starting platform and shoot him, but you can also live DANGEROUSLY and walljump up his nose without pulling it out. Take your pick.

Hyleg Ourobockle + Altoloid

Good lord, look at all those moves! Hyleg Ourobockle is no walk in the park by any means. He’s a snake-themed Mutos Reploid whose name is based off of “hydra” and “ouroboros”. The first one’s the Hercules snake that regrew two heads for each that was chopped off, the second is the snake eating its own tail. Match made in heaven.
Anyway, he’s a member of the Zan’ei army (which I’ll get more into later) and was under the command of one of Neo Arcadia’s four guardians, Phantom. Phantom’s gone now, but his protégés are still kickin’. The members of his squad specialize in speed, stealth, and deception, and Hyleg fits cleanly into that first category. He and his pet snake mechaniloid, Altoloid, move all over the place and attack with swift, decisive blows that can be super hard to dodge. Thankfully, the fight is heavily scripted to make it easier on players; they’ll always start by alternating between jumps, constricts, and snake strikes, followed by Altoloid altering its shape twice before reverting back to slither snake and repeating the pattern over again. It’s certainly a challenge, but because of the predictability, it’s possible to memorize his pattern for a clean victory. Furthermore, you can fill up the Sub tank the stage so graciously gives you beforehand to improve your chances of victory.
Probably the greatest danger in the fight is Altoloid’s snake square move; when rearranging, he presses the blocks against each other, which can and will knock you off, and if you’re not expecting it you’ll fall to your doom. This pair’s a good wake-up call to the general difficulty of the game’s bosses.

Cyber X

X as he appears in this series. His identity was initially unknown, appearing at first on a computer monitor and providing Zero with his trusty Z-saber in a moment of need. He later reappeared and gave the resistance codes needed to access Neo Arcadia’s innermost sanctums and termite Copy X. He only revealed his form in the last game’s epilogue, showing he had somehow become a cyber-elf himself, though he was able to take the form of a blurry, regally-dressed image of his past self.
He likes to warp in, be infuriatingly cryptic, make reference to the fact that Zero needs to do what X cannot, then leave. Most recently, he’s made mentioned something called a “Mother elf” that he supposedly sealed, as well as referring to the two elves now held within Ciel’s lab as “baby elves”, which desire to be reunited with their mother. Nothing else, though, because being helpful isn’t the role of the Wise Man archetype he’s fulfilling.

Reasonable quantities of music this time. While sand triangle (seriously, what’s with that name?) is pretty okay, it’s not *mindblowing*.
As for the boss music, eh. It’s alright, I guess; I’m not a huge fan. I honestly prefer Crash, though not by much.

Sand triangle
Strong will